DIY : Make Your Own Organic Citronella Candle

Once you invest in your own collection of essential oils you can make so many amazing home health and body care products.

Make your own citronella candles using organic and natural ingredients in just a couple of hours. It’s really one of the easiest projects I’ve done and I wanted to share it with you because I know you can do it too. NOTE: This is not an exact science so just have fun and be safe. This is more like cooking than it is baking.

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Tips before beginning
  • Make sure you have pans and bowls that you are ok with exposing to wax. I didn’t know what to expect for clean up so be warned that you’ll need an “exit strategy”.
  • Keep paper towels or rags on hand for clean up later. You never want to put wax down your drains.
  • I totally recommend having cookie sheets around for resting your tools on.
What you’ll need
  • I recommend buying a 5lb bag of soy wax (organic if you can find it)
  • Five 16 oz glass jars with lids or containers of your choosing (it takes a little less than a pound of wax to fill a 16 oz jar)
  • Organic and natural essential oils of your choosing (use about 1 oz. or less of essential oil per pound of wax)
  • Wooden wicks and metal holders
  • Large glass Pyrex or heat safe bowl
  • Medium sauce pan
  • Spatula
  • Cookie sheets
  • Paper towels
  • Large glass measuring cup for pouring
  • Pot holders

1.) – 4.) Grab all of your ingredients and supplies and arrange them in place in a staging area so you can take an “assembly line” approach to this.

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5.) Get your medium size sauce pan and fill it with about an 1 1/2″ – 2″ of water. *This is important for double boiling, which is what you will be doing to heat the wax.

6.) Place your Pyrex bowl snugly into the sauce pan so that you get a seal around the rim. Bring the water to a rolling boil on high and reduce the heat to medium. The heat will build up more evenly and because it can’t escape you’ll have a safer heating process.

7.) Once your heat is on medium, using a measuring cup or jar begin to place your soy wax flakes in the glass bowl.

8.) Stir occasionally so that they melt. These flakes will turn into a clear liquid. Continue to add flakes in. The liquid wax will help to melt the flakes more quickly.

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9.) Turn the oven on to it’s lowest setting. You’ll be heating the glass jars so that the wax cools evenly.

10.) Place your glass jars on a cookie sheet and set in the oven.

11.) Once the wax is fully melted add any essential oils you like. Mix to your own liking. (See a list here).

12.) Transfer liquid wax to a glass measuring cup for pouring.

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13.) Pour a small amount of liquid wax into your glass container, making sure your container is on a cookie sheet.

14.) Place your untrimmed wooden wick and holder in the container. (Note: you can hot glue the wick to the base of the container for extra stability, though you don’t have to.) You could also allow the wax to set slightly before pouring the remaining liquid in but you’ll want to keep the glass relatively warm so the wax cools evenly.

15.) Add dried rose petals, mint, peppermint, or rosemary to the base of your candle.

16.) Fill container with liquid wax leaving about 1″ or and 1 1/2″ gap from the lip of the container. The gap provides enough oxygen for the wooden wick to light and burn evenly. If the container is too full you may have problems lighting your candle.

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17.) Allow the wax to cool completely before trimming the wick. This should only take 30 minutes to 1 hour.

18.) Trim the wick so that you’re left with about a 1/4″ or 1/2″ tip. You actually want the wick to be shorter rather than longer so that wick can light easily.

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That’s it! Enjoy and have fun making your own candles. Be safe and never leave a lit candle unattended.

Repel Mosquitoes and Ticks Naturally

The sole purpose of mosquitoes is to annoy.

There is no biological reason for their existence other than to suck blood and ruin your summer plans. So I can understand why you would do just about anything to rid yourself of these pesky creatures, like using bug spray with DEET, which just adds insult to injury.

DEET is a harsh and toxic insect repellant that has tons of scary side effects. If you’re worried that DEET is the only way to ward off mosquitoes worry no more. Nature has provided everything you’ll ever need to repel these unwanted bugs.

Make your own candle or bug spray using these essential oils and you’ll not only be amazed at how powerfully effective they are but also proud of yourself for making some Pin-worthy crafts.

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035973_mosquito_repellents_clothing_summer.html#ixzz3AKRFLZ6j

Organic Essential Oils That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

  • Citronella Oil
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Geranium Oil
  • Geranium Rose Oil (For Ticks Especially)

Organic Essential Oils That Heal Bug Bites

  • Echinacea (Spray or Tincture)
  • Propolis (Salve or Ointment)
  • Vitamin E
  • Lavender

How do you get rid of bug bites in the Summer? What do you use to repel mosquitoes?

How to shop for Summer produce

I love the Summer months because everything is so laid back, the weather is warm and nurturing, and there is tons of produce ripe for the picking.

Here are my top tips for shopping for Summer produce.

Le Rouge 6_0018Set a budget for the Summer months

Your budget for Summer should go up slightly for the simple reason that you’ll be eating more fresh produce! Many people have no idea what to spend on groceries and end up spending  way too much. While others spend way too little on groceries in general. Assuming your a family of 4, I recommend spending anywhere from 8 – 10% or even 20% of your monthly income on groceries. So if your monthly income is $2000 then $200 is very little to spend on a family of 4. Be flexible, check in and treat your budget as a living, breathing thing.

Join a CSA

This will not only save you money, it will also guarantee you’re getting local and seasonal produce. Plus, in many cases all the hard work is literally done for you. These boxes of fresh and lovely produce can even be delivered to your door. Find out more about CSA’s in your area here.

Shop at your local farmer’s market

Get to know your farmers and learn about how they grow food and what they’re growing. Enjoy the atmosphere of local food culture. This is a great time for the whole family!

Check to see where your grocery store produce hales from

Did you know a lot of apples come from South America? This is not a bad thing. It simply means you’ll be making a choice to buy and eat apples that are several weeks old and have made a long journey to get to you. Choose what’s best for your family and meal plan.

Buy produce that is in season, is clearly fresh and alive, and is crisp, bright, and firm

You are what you eat so choose wisely when selecting your produce. Avoid any wilted, brown or squishy produce. Eat living foods to feel alive and super charge your energy. Summer is the perfect time to do this.

Try one new seasonal produce item each time you shop

Simply chop it up and eat it raw to introduce yourself to this new item and what it’s all about. Also, ask your produce guy or gal to let you try it in the store. They’re usually very obliging and want you to buy what’s in season. Get to know the flavor and texture of your food before you cook with it.

Buy organic when possible and stay away from the Dirty Dozen

In order to save money you can shop from what’s known as the Clean 15 list. This list helps you to know which conventionally grown foods are less affected by pesticides, radiation, and genetic engineering.

When you shop in season, you’re buying foods that help you live at your best within that season. Nature provides cooling and cleansing foods for Summer and warm and hearty foods for Fall and Winter. Now go out there and try some new and refreshing Summer foods.

To your health!

Brianna

Now I want to hear from you. What is your top tip for Summer produce shopping? Or what is your biggest struggle with shopping for produce? Let me know in the comments below.

: Recipe : Steamed Broccoli with Sesame Miso Sauce

Did you know broccoli is one of the absolute healthiest foods that you can eat?!

I know! Who knew…

Broccoli is super high in Vitamin C and steaming preserves all that immune boosting potential. Broccoli is a great cancer fighting and anti-aging food. It’s also awesome for women’s health.

In fact, this whole dish contains ingredients beneficial for women’s health. Miso paste is recommended for preventing breast cancer, garlic contains over 50 naturally occurring antibiotics, and sesame seeds are rich in calcium which is a key mineral in building strong bones.

Not only that, miso contains tons of pro biotics and enzymes beneficial for good health and digestion. And when you sprinkle the Gomasio or Bragg’s kelp sprinkle on top it pumps up the health benefits even further. Kelp is a seaweed that is rich in extremely important minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. All seaweed’s are ideal foods for nourishing your thyroid because they contain high amounts of naturally occurring iodine.

I love this simple and easy dish because it’s so savory but so good for you too. You can’t go wrong.

Some or all of these ingredients may seem a little strange at first; they were for me when I started my health journey over 13 years ago. But now these specialty items are actual staples for me!

Steamed Broccoli with Sesame Miso Sauce

Cook time: 5 minutes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 – 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of organic broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of organic red miso paste
  • 1/2 cup of Joyva Sesame Tahini
  • 2 oz. of purified water
  • 1 – 2 cloves of organic garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Eden Organic Seaweed Gomasio or Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle

Directions:

  • Clean and rinse all your broccoli and strain in a colander.
  • Cut about 1 inch off the bottom of the steam and put in your compost.
  • Cut broccoli into 1/2 inch or inch pieces. Use all the steams and florets! They’re really good for you.
  • Place broccoli pieces in a stainless steel steamer basket in a large pot.
  • Steam for 5 minutes or until bright green. Try not to over cook your broccoli so you don’t destroy all that Vitamin C.
  • While your broccoli is steaming, place miso, tahini, garlic and water in a food processor and blend until smooth. You don’t even have to remove the garlic “paper”. The papery thin garlic shell actually has tons of immune health benefits and keeping it on saves you time. (Add more water to the sauce if you need to.)
  • Remove broccoli from steamer and place in a large serving bowl.
  • Pour sesame miso sauce over the broccoli and toss to cover evenly.
  • Sprinkle gomasio or Bragg’s over the top and serve!

Here’s how to do sunbathing the natural way

Did you know women absorb 5 pounds of chemicals a year through their skin?!

Eww! What the heck.

This heavy chemical burden on the body makes it hard to stay healthy, energized and fit. And over time this constant build up can contribute to weight gain, allergies, fatigue and even cancer. With Summer here it’s hard to avoid using conventional sunscreens.

Since there is no regulation in the US for what types of chemicals are included in skin care products, a great way to take control of your health is to be a label detective and use skin care products that are effective, safe and organic. Yes even your sunscreen can be organic!

Why not?

What you put on your skin, gets absorbed into your pores and then into your blood stream. Your blood travel through your entire body and becomes the organs and tissues that build who you are.

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Here are my top recommendations for using clean and effective sun screens

1. All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30 Sunscreen

2. Badger Broad Spectrum Baby Sunscreen SPF 30

3. Elemental Herbs Sport Sunscreen SPF 33

Many non-conventional sunscreens use a physical blocking effect by adding Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. These minerals actually protect the skin from the UVA/UVB rays. This can leave you with a little white layer of goop, but companies are now using finer blends and even transparent zinc. You can also rub the cream in until it is absorbed into the skin.

Always read the labels!

Holistic Sunburn Recovery

If you do sustain a severe burn please consult your physician immediately! Second degree sunburns do happen so please be really cautious when sunbathing.

But you don’t need a second degree burn to treat your skin after sun exposure. In fact, if you want a lovely tan without the damaging effects post play care is critical!

Nature’s medicine cabinet has loads of options for healing and soothing the skin. Look for these ingredients in healing products and keep it clean!

  • Vitamins E, D, A
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Aloe Gel
  • Coconut Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Lavender (Hydrosol or essential oil)
  • Calendula
  • Neem Oil
  • Golden seal
  • Raw honey

EWG’s Skin Deep Tips for healthy sun bathing

Just say no:

  • SPF above 50
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Aerosol spray and powder sunscreen
  • Oxybenzone
  • Added insect repellent

Say yes to:

  • Hats and shade in mid-day sun
  • Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients, otherwise Avobenzone (at 3%)
  • SPF 15 to 50, depending on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover.
  • Use a lot and reapply frequently

Go to: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to get a complete list of approved sunscreen and skin care products.

Why everything you thought about being healthy is wrong

I used to think I knew what made someone healthy.

What I’ve learned from being a Health Coach is that everything I thought it took to be healthy was totally wrong.

There is a paradigm shift happening all around us these days. Can you feel it? I know I can. And I can’t ignore it.

Here is the paradigm shift I was telling you about. Here is the dirty little secret that’s so elegantly simple you may miss it when I tell you. You may even write me off when I explain what it really takes to be healthy and well.

But first let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine waking up with a calm sense of peace and ease. Imagine your body is rested; stiffness and pain is a thing of the past. Imagine your heart is confident and happy; your mind is sharp and ready for the day. Imagine breakfast, kids/pets and the whole morning routine is effortlessly good. Not perfect, just not a mad dash.

Imagine you have time for food. Imagine you have time for (dare I say it) yourself.

You may think I’m nuts for saying that but if you’re anything like me or like my lovely clients, I know that you don’t put yourself first. Here’s how I know that. You’re a closet perfectionist, an overachiever afraid of being rejected and misunderstood. Doing is your salvation. Doing more for others. Doing more to be OK, to be in good standing.

As a Health Coach, you may expect me to have all the answers or at least most of the answers to help you reach your health goals. But I can’t and I won’t because I’m not the expert on you. Only you are the expert on you. What I do have is the ability to create a space for you to work out your healing. I can be your guide through the muck so that living a healthy life is not a mystery or a pressure filled obligation.

This is what I do know to be universally true. Here is the paradigm shift and the secret that helped me loose 35 pounds, and has helped my clients loose weight, have more energy but most importantly have wellness of spirit:

Surrender and be happy.

Do whatever it takes to live a life that you LOVE. Not a life that you kind of tolerate or “get through”.  Then and only then will you loose weight. Then and only then will the choices to build a healthy body and life flow effortlessly. Not the other way around.

“I won’t be happy until I loose the weight” will not get to where your heart really longs to go. I promise. Because I’ve been there.

: Recipe : Refreshing Cucumber Tomato Salad for Summer

Beloved Friends!

It’s officially Summer as of Saturday! You know what that means: long days, warm temps and loads of vitamin D to soak up as you please.

But what really makes Summer so awesome is all of the gorgeous produce that is abundantly in season. You can eat like a king! Because the Summer can be so unbearably hot, it’s great to eat what’s in season so you can cool your body from the inside out.

Here’s a great refreshing recipe for you to try using two of the most cooling summer foods out there: cucumbers and tomatoes! Eat it and stay chilled out all Summer long.

REFRESHING CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD

Cook time: 0 minutes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6 – 8 people

Prep Notes: Pre-chop all your veggies and store in the fridge to save loads of time. Tomatoes do not store well in the fridge, FYI.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 4 large organic tomatoes
  • 2 large organic cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced organic purple onion
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of raw local honey (to taste)
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • finely chop all veggies and toss in a large mixing bowl
  • Add vinegar, oil and honey to the veggies and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Extra Credit Recipes:

Pump up the jams on this salad by adding Calamata olives, goat cheese, or pine nuts. You can also cook up some short grain white rice, strain, cool and toss with the salad for a kick ass main course.

 

Ok, lay it on me. What are your favorite Summer veggies? Got any cooling recipes you want to share?

: Recipe : Sugar Free Coconut Basil Mint Ice Cream

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Sugar Free Coconut Basil Mint Ice Cream

Prep time: 1 – 2 hours
Cook time: 5 min
Serves: 4 – 6
Notes: This is a very light and understated flavor but it’s perfect for people who want to limit their sugar intake. If you want to replace the stevia for maple syrup please feel free! Also, depending on your taste add more or less basil and mint. I love the mint in this recipe because it makes this ice cream so refreshing!
Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of organic coconut milk (not light, also not the the beverage)
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of organic coconut butter
  • 5- 10 drops of organic stevia (start with a small amount of stevia and work your way up to the desired level of sweetness.)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped mint (or more if you love mint)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
  • 1 whole vanilla pod or 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/4  – 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 healthy pinch of sea salt
Directions:
  1. You’ll first need two large rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper for freezing the coconut milk (you can freeze the night in advance if you want to save a lot of time).
  2. Pour each can of well shaken coconut milk onto separate parchment lined baking sheets and store flat in the freezer for 1 – 2 hours until hard.
  3. Finely chop basil and mint and set aside for later.
  4. If using a whole vanilla pod, slice down the middle and gently scrape out the vanilla into a small dish and set aside for later.
  5. Once the coconut is frozen remove from the freezer and break it up into small pieces.
  6. Put the pieces in the food processor and blend until fully smooth, adding more pieces as you go. Depending on the size of your food processor you might need to split the batch in half.
  7. Add all of your other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy. (You’ll want it to melt just slightly for that real ice cream texture)
  8. Serve immediately with or without garnish and enjoy!

 

PS – If you live in the area, don’t forget to join me at Sugar Blues: How to End the Sugar Crazy Cycle. I invite you to come out and learn a bunch about sugar and meet some awesome like-hearted people! I can’t wait to see you there. Seats are limited so be sure to sign up here.

 

Do you think you could ever go without sugar? Have any awesome sugar-free recipes you want to share with the group? Share in the comments below!

How to beat seasonal allergies naturally

Are you in Allergy Hell?

My husband is never sick. I mean never. But as soon as spring rears its ugly (yet lovely) head, the sneezing, runny nose, and foggy brain kicks in. Like clock work, his eyes become bloodshot and watery and the Claritin flows like milk and honey. Somehow though, his symptoms never seem to fully dissipate.

Knoxville is the capital for Spring Allergies in the nation. So I was more than a little worried when we decided to move to Knoxville a few years ago.

The remedies for seasonal allergies do not have to be extreme. Most traditional remedies are as easy or easier than taking a pill and have NO side effects.

Here are my Top 5 Natural Remedies!

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#1) Raw Local Honey and Bee Pollen

My number one remedy for combating seasonal allergies is Raw Local Honey and it’s sister Bee Pollen. Blood sugar aside, if you consume 2 TBLS of local honey at each meal you will see relief of symptoms rather quickly, and more quickly if you chew on the comb.

Did you know that Bee Pollen is a super food? It’s so rich in nutrients you could literally live on it for days and days if you needed to. It is really important that you buy local Bee Pollen because it contains all the pollen from the surrounding plants and flowers. That is the key!

Sprinkle some on your cereal or toast in the morning, or add some to a smoothie for dinner. It’s very sweet and tasty. Make sure you work your way up to using large quantities though. And, as always make sure you follow the proper guidelines about feeding it to babies and children. Make sure you check with your do if you have allergies and are curious about how these remedies might work for you!

#2) Neti Pot

I’ve heard some rumors going around that Neti Pots are deadly. Never fear! This remedy is tried and true. Used for eons and engineered in India, the Neti Pot is one of the most useful personal care tools around. Irrigating the nasal cavities with sterilized salt water, allows the otherwise totally unreachable canals, to be flushed and cleansed.

Here is what you need to be aware of when using the Neti:

  • Use fluoride free, sterilized water not from tap.
  • Boil the water for at least 10 minutes and allow to cool.
  • Use the highest quality water and salt possible.

Doing this once a day or just once a week helps to wash away any irritants or stored mucus and gives almost immediate relief. Plus, once you’ve purchased the Neti Pot, it is my top pick for the most inexpensive home remedy.

#3) Eat Greens and Eat Seasonally

Allowing your body to cleanse is extremely important while suffering from seasonal allergies. Nature provides all the best foods for reducing mucus and cleansing the lymphatic system. Pick local, fresh produce like berries, root veggies, bean sprouts, and others that are in their prime time. Really focus on eating these kinds of foods and you will see a noticeable difference!

#4) Drink Water – Lots of Water

Another highly effective, yet extremely simple way to cleanse is to filter your drinking and cooking water. Even though its a really controversial topic, I prefer to filter the fluoride and chlorine out of my water. I bought this one recently and I love it. My husband and I can really taste the difference. I’ve even noticed that I have more energy and better clarity of mind.

Try to drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 then try to drink 80 ounces of water a day. You dig?

#5) Clean Your Sheets and Pillow Cases

We spend (or should spend) 8 hours a night with our schnozes buried in a pillow. Chances are trying to get a good night’s sleep with allergies is no pic-nick. Take the extra time and care to clean your pillowcase and pillow regularly. You will notice a world of difference. Use an all natural detergent without any harsh perfumes or chemicals. If your pillow is really old then give yourself a treat and upgrade a new hypo-allergenic one.

BONUS TIP

Brought to you from local weather man Mike Witcher: Make sure to shower before bed time to cleanse away all the build up of the day that way you don’t take all the nasties to bed with you!

 XO

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: Recipe : Collard Green Beauty Burrito

Yum!

If you’re life is anything like mine than you have very little time to worry about what you’re eating and even less time to prepare food.

Crazy fast beauty food to the rescue!

I get it. Life is really hectic. When your life feels overwhelming, at least you know you can make this little power house of a meal and feel better instantly. Take my word for it. This dish is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and so much I can’t even list it here. Eat and feel calm!

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COLLARD GREEN & WALNUT “BURRITO”

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 0 min
Serves: 6 – 8
Prep notes: Pre-chopping all your veggies will make super lite work of all this. Or you can use a Vitamix blender to make it even easier.
Ingredients for Jicama Pico de gallo:
  • 3 large tri-color organic bell peppers
  • 1/2 a large organic purple onion
  • 1 small jicama
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bunch of collard greens (for later)
Directions:
  • Finely chop all veggies (minus the greens) and add into a large mixing bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of both limes and lemons in the bowl. Add salt to taste and mix.

 

Ingredients for “Ground Beef” Walnut Meat:

  • 2 1/2 cups of organic walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons of organic ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons of water
Directions:
  • Add walnuts to a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet. Blend until slightly broken down. You want to avoid making a “nut-meal”. You are looking for a texture and consistency of ground beef or taco meat.
  • Add the nut-meat, spices and Tamari to mixing bowl. Mix until well incorporated.
  • To make the “Burrito”, rinse the collard leaves and lay them on a cutting board.
  • Trim the steams completely off to the base of the leaf so that you’re left with just the leaf.
  • Lay the dark side of the leaf down and the light side facing up.
  • Along the ridge of the steam that runs through the center of the leaf, add a couple of spoon fulls of Pico de gallo.
  • On the other side, a couple of spoon fulls of “meat”.
  • Wrap one side of the leaf over across the fillings and fold the ends of the leaf inward to make a “burrito”.
  • Press down to secure, cut in two. Eat and enjoy!!!

This recipe is adapted from Kymberly Snyder.

A Postmodern Prayer

WARNING: you may think me strange and unstable…

CAUTION: you may not be strange enough if you think me so…

Calling all artists, friends, wanderers, seekers, believers, doubters, dreamers, doers, fighters, lovers, sufferers, healers, warriors, makers and all honest hopefuls. Hear! This message is for you.
 
Dear God,
love
sex
fun
touch
connection
art
play
clean
beautiful
garden
time
peace
early
friends
food
creation
giving
singing
growing
making
doing
seeing
new
new
new
different
free
free
free
flowers
food
alone
together
please
help.                                                                                                                                                                                           AMEN – a.k.a.: so be it

 

I want to be touched, kissed, caressed, loved, embraced. I want to be away from my ______. I want to be out of this ______. I want freedom, walking, strolling, observing, sweating, trying new things, feeling alive and whole. I want to do new things and see new things. I want to be free. I want to have my own space, my own calling, my own schedule, my own time. I want to have fun. I want to have friends. I want to move in my body and feel liberated to have peace of mind, self-love, self-care, beauty, giving, and connection with others like me. I want a friend I know I can break down with. A friend to call best. I want a deep, fiery love. I want to be told that I am beautiful, gorgeous, brilliant, irresistible, and lovely. I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to be free.

Lord, I am desperate. Please God, help me. Show me. Lift me up. Please break this thing in me.

I came upon an old acquaintance who has spent the last several months following her passion and living in total alignment with her identity and spirit. Lord, what are you calling me to do? I am suffering. I am causing my own suffering. This is not the only time I have felt this way or acted this way. Grabbing scraps of loose paper. Scrawling and daydreaming, desperately grasping for something more. Desperately desiring a deep, deep burning passion for something so much more.

It’s like a fever growing in me and the only relief I get is from scribbling unorganized, random thoughts down – screaming – moaning – shouting – shedding tears – until I can finally taste and grasp that unattainable satisfaction of Purpose being lived through and through to the highest degree until my flesh glows with pure joy from walking and breathing my destiny. So far am I now from this that my heart wilts and revolts silently in my chest. My body grows lazy and fatigued from giving effort to a life that I have no loyalty to. I do not see myself in this life that I am living and nothing in me wants to accept it. Nothing. Who would have me live this? For what reasons? Out of fear, obligation, responsibility? Why?

I think that dissatisfaction in life pollutes the body. Even now as I type I cannot fully express the importance of this idea. It is so potent and emotional for me that I can hardly put words into meaning together in a sentence.

Do you ever get that feeling in your heart that burns and burns with longing for something more?

Do you ever find yourself crying out to God in desperation for an answer? Begging for relief from the pain of mediocre life?

It’s plain to see that you were created for a purpose. What if knowing and living that purpose is delayed by the mundane expectations and obligation that envelope our everyday lives? Suffering happens. Suffering is like a low grade fever. Inflammation that creeps into your bones and cells. The heat gets turned up each time you passively compromise your Divine Purpose (even a Divine Purpose you can barely make out in the distance).

PS – This is no way a sign that I am dissatisfied in my marriage. Out of the utmost respect and passion for my husband, I would like to make this very clear. He is my most vibrant source of all things beautiful in this little life of mine. Without him I would not be girded to strive for my desires in life.

If you feel this way, what can you do now to blood-let the pressure? Please speak up. Because I have.

Super Clean Energy Breakfast

What’s up you guys!

It’s Spring! Yay!

I am so pumped. You have no idea. I get really worked up about this time of year because I live for longer days, flowers popping up everywhere, and big fat rays of sunshine killing me with loving-kindness.

It’s the best in my book.

When the season changes, everything changes with it; the rhythm of life, the produce and our bodies all change. We naturally start to crave foods to detoxify and lighten up. We want cooler foods that uplift and energize.

If you’re sometimes left scratching you head wondering what to eat during this time, scratch no longer. Here are two amazingly simple and healthy recipes for you to lighten up, cool down, energize and cleanse.

Eat this for breakfast a couple of days a week and see how it works for you.

PS – Today is the 1 year anniversary of my first segment as a Health Coach on Fox 43. I couldn’t be more grateful and proud.

Replacement for morning coffee

Replacement for morning coffee

SUPER CLEAN ENERGY SMOOTHIE

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 0 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of Raw Cacao
  • 10 tablets of Clean Chlorella
  • 1 Organic Banana
  • 1 teaspoon of Raw Local Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Organic Cinnamon
  • 1 cup of purified or distilled water

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth for about 1 minute.
  • Pour into your favorite glass and feel energized for your day!
Courteous of Home Shoppe

Courteous of Home Shoppe

CLEAN GREEN TOAST

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 4 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of Ezekiel Sprouted Bread
  • 1 ripe Organic Avocado
  • Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • A squeeze of lemon if you like

Directions:

  • Toast your slice of bread until golden brown.
  • Cut open your avocado. Using a spoon spread evenly on the toast. Sprinkle salt to taste.
  • Enjoy and feel energized and filled for your day!

 Loving the new season? Let me know what you’re favorite Spring time foods are in the comments section.

Let it go

Did you know that the season of Lent has officially begun? This is the time of year when a lot of people around the world celebrate the life and death of Jesus by sacrificing or giving something up for 40 days. I know we’re 2 weeks into it, but I’m still mulling over what it means to give something up.

I’ve never really been good at Lent. I always kind of miss it and then let the chance to give something up pass me by. To me, I guess it’s not that big of a deal. I already feel like I’ve “given up” several common offenders that people often choose to sacrifice during this time.

I rarely watch TV, I don’t drink soda, I hardly eat out, I don’t smoke, occasionally drink, sugar does not have a strong hold on me, and clothing is not an option at this point or maybe ever. Just kidding. Or am I? You’ll never know.

Even though I’m several days late in the game, I decided to give up something for Lent that I’ve never given up before: fear.

Or known by another name as Resistance.

image credit: Ricardo Garcia

image credit: Ricardo Garcia

To be really, really honest with you, this thing is a crazy beast in me and it’s time – high time – that it left my life. This is going to be a major challenge for me. I once heard that the bigger and more awesome your desires in life are, the bigger and more freaky the Resistance will be. It makes sense. I have a lot of big, big dreams and goals that I’m trying to create in my life and I keep seeing this fear and resistance manifest itself in several different ways.

In the Pressfieldian mode of thinking, one of the most ugly and persistent ways Fear and Resistance shows up in life is through the mechanism of self-sabotage. One of the ways that I am sabotaging myself is by willfully sleeping in and dilly dallying around in the morning when I know I could be busting out some awesome, world changing, spiritual gangster creations. Which would make me really, really happy. But instead I act like setting the alarm an hour earlier is this mysterious, highly technical, mentally rigorous process. And yes, I have an iPhone. So you know this is total BS.

What I’ve discovered about “self-evolution” is it’s the simple tweaks and small adjustments that we put off for long periods of time that could bring us the results we want so badly. It’s not the broad strokes, “mega-workouts”, and fad diets that make our lives better. It’s the ‘one-foot-in-front-of-the-other’ things that do the heavy lifting of change.

Unfortunately, it’s our emotions and fears that fly under the radar that prevent us from making these simple adjustments. And it’s these exact same fears and emotions that trick us into believing that broad strokes will create the change we desperately want.

So, what I’m giving up is an hour of sleep in the morning. I’m giving up my fear that I’ll never make anything good of myself. I’m saying that I’m going to get up an hour earlier to thwart this fear, resistance and self-sabotage. I’m going to do this for 40 days and let you know how it works out. I’m grinning from ear to ear right now because I already feel the beast cackling in the corner saying “You’ll never get up at 6 o’clock 40 days in a row”.

But like all gremlins, you just have to put them in their place. How? Feel the fear and do it anyway.

If you feel like it, let me know what you gave up for Lent in the comments. Or if you’ve never given anything up for Lent, what are you inspired to give up?

Do you have the time?

Have you ever said to yourself, “I just don’t know where the time goes?” or “I don’t have time to work out or cook dinner?” If you have, then you’re a lot like me and I want to share something with you that I hope will help radically change this.

“For the most important parts of your life, you cannot cram. You cannot make up for lost time or get it back.”

~Andy Stanley

This includes health.

Our time is our most valuable asset hands down. Our time is our life. That’s why I love Daylight Savings Time so much. Maybe it’s trickery but I feel like I get more hours than 24 when we spring forward. It’s awesome. I come alive and I can’t wait to go, go, go. It’s the perfect time to begin again and start something fresh.

But the truth is we don’t get more hours do we? Sucks right? So what do we do with our very limited time? We live on purpose, or at least we aim to.

My purpose for living is to get you to tap into this concept that you have a uniquely Divine Calling on your life. If time is your life then you have a Divine calling on your time. You have millions of Divine appointments in life aka minutes. And yes, you can miss these appointments. Maybe that’s why I started off as a Photographer. Maybe even then in my early years I was obsessed with keeping time.

Photography, unlike any other medium, is all about capturing time and preserving it. In photo there is a term that’s been created to describe this preserving  process. It’s called “The Decisive Moment”. Doesn’t that just resonate with you? I mean come on! What this means is that if you don’t act now, right now, not later then you will miss your moment forever. You will never have a second chance at that moment again.

It’s dreadfully sad and beautiful in an emo sort of way but don’t shoot the messenger. OK? I’m not here to judge you or criticize you. I’m just here to point out the truth from one master procrastinator to another.

Picture 1

You were created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. But your time is limited just like everyone else. Time is going fast like a hot commodity. Everyone and everything is competing for your time. So I want to ask you, “in light of your past experience, current circumstances, future hopes and dreams, where do you need to begin making consistent deposits of time?” Is it your marriage, your spirituality, your relationships, your health, your finances?

What kind of life do you want to create?

Time = Life.

In my mind, health is where it all starts. If you don’t have the energy to make the most of your time then you’re literally letting your life slip through your fingers. Your health is the fuel to your dreams and purpose. Again, if time is your life then your body is a time travel machine. And you need to guard your time and body with daily deposits of love and attention.

It may all seem so overwhelming to think about, but trust me because I’ve been there, you can make a change. But it’s not going to happen over night. No, it’s going to happen one day at a time; one decision at a time. You can have the kind of health that radiates from your bones just by taking the time to do one loving, healthy action a day.

(A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.)

I want to hear from you. Where do you need to being making consistent deposits of time?

Post in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Look out for #1

Dear Sweet Baby Angel,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m sending you a quick video to talk about, of all things, love. But not just any kind of love.

Self-Love.

Do you love yourself? You may say yes. But do you put yourself first? If not, then watch the video below to find out why looking out for #1 is the most loving thing you can do.

Just a heads up that you can hear my poor little Mac Book cranking away in the background. I’m using what I have to make this work. Haters gonna hate. Lovers gonna love. But I love you no matter what.

Big, big, big hugs to you from me. Can you feel it?

http://youtu.be/hLfxPBqJ8BA

The healthiest, fastest on-the-go lunch ever!

Awesome friend,

I want to you let you know that I have big plans this year that include sharing myself and my insights into healthy living more. I’m so glad for the new year and even though January is nearly behind us, I could not be more energized for all the radical times ahead.

I’d like to amp up my tips and tricks for you and hopefully help you reach your health goals this year. If you don’t have the energy in your body then you won’t have the energy for your most yummy and delicious plans.

We all need you to be at your best! Watch me on FOX-43 below to see what I eat for lunch.

http://www.wbir.com/story/life/food/recipes/2014/01/27/quick-and-easy-weight-loss-wrap/4936645/

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Today I’m letting you take a peek at what I personally eat for lunch. It’s a go-to meal that I rely on when I’m stressed or rushed. Because its so healthy – I don’t worry. Because I’m not stressing out about my meal, I feel fab and happy. I focus on things that need my attention and need me at my best.

It is so easy to make it will shock you.

QUICK AND EASY WEIGHT LOSS WRAP

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 5 min

Serves: 2 – 4

Prep notes: You can make your own hummus or to save tons of time you can use store bought organic hummus. Choosing organic as often as you can will help keep you healthy and fit. The less toxins and pesticides the less fat your body will store.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of organic hummus
  • 1/3 of a cup of Nayonaise
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon of organic mustard
  • 2 ounces of purified water
  • 1 cup of diced organic white onions
  • 1/2 cup of fresh organic cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 package of sprouted tortilla wraps
  • 1 package organic pea shoots or alfalfa sprouts

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except the wraps and pea shoots in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth and well incorporated.
  • Spread the mixture over the entire surface of your sprouted tortilla.
  • On half of the tortilla add the sprouts, a dollop more of the hummus spread and a squirt of Siracha.
  • Fold the tortilla in half and eat!

For a break down of each product CLICK HERE to see what I use in the healthiest, fastest on-the-go lunch ever!

Healthy Food to Keep on Hand

Hey darling angel,

Below are some things I keep on hand at all times, because not only do they make the best lunch ever, they’re really versatile and I use each product in so many different ways. Keep in mind that I try to buy everything organically when I can.

“Keep good foods on hand and you’ll eat good foods.”

Yummy, healthy and inexpensive things to always keep stocked at home or at work.

There are really only 3 places that I shop: Vitacost.com, Trader Joe’s and Kroger. I do occasionally shop at Earth Fare too and I will shop at Whole Foods when we get one here in Knoxville. My #1 focus when shopping for organic food is to save the money honey.

I’ve provided links to all the things on this page where you can get these products at the best possible price. From years of working in a grocery store and scouring the web, I’ve got healthy shopping on the cheap down to a science.

Sprouted Tortilla Wraps

http://www.foodforlife.com/product/tortillas/ezekiel-49-sprouted-whole-grain-tortillas

When a grain is sprouted it becomes super rich in vitamins and enzymes making it extremely easy to digest. When you’re digestive system can take a break it helps you have more energy instantly and helps you naturally avoid gaining weight.

Sprouted Pea Shoots or Sprouted Alfalfa (Sprouts)

http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp

According to NaturalNews, “sprouts have the highest concentration of nutrition per calorie of any food” and they are very inexpensive. They’re packed with protein and very easy on the tummy. Basically, they’ll super charge your weight loss and give you a boost of clean energy. Great in salads, on toast with eggs or in a smoothie. Fit them in where ever you can.

Nayonaise

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=2MLM42NcgDg&subid=&offerid=275461.1&type=10&tmpid=1077&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.vitacost.com%252Fnasoya-nayonaise-sandwich-spread

Even though this product is not organic which bugs me because it uses soy (a huge GMO crop) it is technically verified non-GMO on the label. So that’s good. As opposed to Veganaise, this is much lower in calories. I use this to perk up sauces and things. I don’t use a ton, but it’s that little helper when I need it.

Hummus

http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp

I love hummus, but I try to keep my intake balanced. It is a healthy food because of the fiber and protein content, but beans can be hard to digest and if you rely too heavily on hummus for snacking it could actually be contributing to weight gain. It’s always best to make your hummus from scratch by first soaking and cooking your own beans. I know this is labor intensive but it saves a ton of money!

Sriracha

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=2MLM42NcgDg&subid=&offerid=275461.1&type=10&tmpid=1077&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.vitacost.com%252Fhuy-fong-foods-sriracha-hot-chili-sauce

Awesome condiment for use in just about everything! Put it on eggs, sandwiches, in soups and whatever else you can think of. Spicy and mild at the same time. I like to buy mine online because its almost always cheaper.

Mustard 

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=2MLM42NcgDg&subid=&offerid=275461.1&type=10&tmpid=1077&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.vitacost.com%252Fannies-naturals-organic-dijon-mustard

Many people may not know that mustard is actually a healthy food. Mustard usually contains turmeric, a spice that reduces inflammation, and vinegar which helps to alkalize the blood. It’s also good to use in other sauces, again, to brighten it up a bit.

Almonds

http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp

Almonds are a great snack on the go. Keep some in your purse for a quick nibble if you’re dying of starvation. Use them in your cereal or in baked goods. Trader Joe’s has the best price in town on bulk nuts and seeds. That’s where I mainly shop for things like that.

Organic Pop Corn

http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp

Air popped pop corn is a really healthy snack, but please DO NOT buy inorganic corn products unless you want to turn into that fish from The Simpsons. I prefer to buy my own popping pop corn and make it on the stove top. This guy is great in a pinch though.

Green or Black Tea

http://www.simpletruth.com/products/beverages/tea/organic-earl-grey/

Instead of relying on coffee in the afternoon for a pick-me-up, go for green or black tea. They both have powerful anti-cancer anti-oxidants. Please choose organic! I got this box of tea from Kroger’s Simple Truth line of organic products. Kroger has great “Manager’s Specials” all the time. Stock up on items when you see its marked down.

 Tahini

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=2MLM42NcgDg&subid=&offerid=275461.1&type=10&tmpid=1077&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.vitacost.com%252Fjoyva-sesame-tahini

A more savory peanut butter. Tahini is a seed butter made from sesame seeds. It’s amazing and I use it for so many different things. I always have this well stocked in my pantry. I get mine on vitacost.com because it’s so much less expensive than in the grocery store.

Garbanzo Beans

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=2MLM42NcgDg&subid=&offerid=275461.1&type=10&tmpid=1077&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.vitacost.com%252Feden-foods-organic-garbonzo-beans-29-oz

Another staple that I get online. Garbanzo beans are high in protein and fiber. You can saute them, add them to a stew or soup or you can even make hummus!

 

If you keep these products near by, you’ll be guaranteed to feel better, loose weight and save money this year.

Flu Protocol

Oh no! Not the flu.
As healthy as I am I still got the flu. Crap.
But what does a Health Coach do when she gets the flu? Well I’m happy to tell you! Watch below.

http://youtu.be/RJ4HtVWSSiI

CLICK HERE to watch the video.


HEADS UP: If you have the flu and your symptoms are getting progressively worse or you’re running a fever for more than 2 days please, please, please see a doctor. No one needs to be a hero. Just do it. OK?


Phew! Now that that’s out of the way let me tell you about some of nature’s most amazing and powerful remedies. I myself used this protocol when I was sick and have recommended it to my mom and good friends. It can knock out your flu in 24 – 48 hours.

1. At the first sign of sickness or fatigue start drinking TONS of water. Water helps to flush toxins out of the body and helps keep your cells hydrated and healthy.

2. Immediately cut out bread like carbs and all sugars from your diet. Viruses and bacteria love these things and will proliferate cheerfully if you give them what they want.

3. Wash you hands like crazy! Use this Clean Well All Natural Anti-bacterial hand soap.

4. Black Elderberry extract is also an incredibly powerful antiviral treatment for influenza. (2) You can take 1 tablespoon of syrup every hour.

5. Oil of oregano “is arguably the most potent and effective antimicrobial in the essential oil family and is 26 times more effective at targeting and destroying harmful pathogens than even the most powerful conventional products used to treat and sterilize things like hospital equipment.” (1)  So you will want to take 1 drop in a glass of water or juice every 2 hours. The taste is horrid so if you can’t see your sick self taking it grab these capsules instead.

6. For adults, begin taking 500mg of Vitamin C every hour for a total of 5000 mg daily. I like this chewable version from American Health.

7. Chestal from Boiron will help to break up that mucous and get it out of your lungs.

8. REST damn it!

That’s it! Having worked in the Whole Body department at Whole Foods Market, I was able to learn a ton about these natural remedies but I also adapted this protocol from a great blog called Wellness Mama and thought I would share it with you.

If you‘re planning on stocking up on any of these little wonders, get $10 off at Vitacost.com on me. That’s primarily where I shop for all of my supplements and whatnot because they have the best deals ever.

Happy New Year!

 I am a huge fan of the New Year.

Why? I’ll take any chance I can get to start again. Being human means that sometimes, if we’re being honest, most of the time we’re falling short. Short on what we want. Short on who we want to be. Short on how we should be treating others and short on what we should be doing in life.

Take this time to lay claim to what you want most right now.

 

Purely Decadent Chia Chocolate Ganache

Chia Chocolate Ganache

Purely Decadent Chia Chocolate Ganache
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time:  30 minutes
Serves: 8 – 10 people

Prep Notes:

The Chia seeds will need to soak a minimum of 30 min to absorb all the fluid. However overnight soaking is recommended.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup of whole Chia seeds

1 teaspoon org. cinnamon1 tbsp org. vanilla extract

3 oz. org. raw cacao

1 cup of water

3/4 cup of org. whole milk, almond or any other non-dairy milk

2.5 oz of org. grade B maple syrup

a pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp org. unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter

1 whole org. banana


Directions:
1. Combine Chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, cacao, water, milk and maple syrup in an air tight container. Seal, shake vigorously and place in refrigerator to congeal and cool.

Note: At this point you could allow the chia mixture to sit 30 min – 1 hour, or even overnight and eat it as thick “pudding”.

2. For a smoother, richer ganache-like dessert add peanut butter and banana with the chia mixture in a blender. Blend on high until silky smooth.

​3. The blender may warm the ganache, so you might want to chill again in the refrigerator.

Serve with fresh berries and enjoy!

Don’t delay. Why Wait?

White Christmas is playing in the back ground.

 

Last night I said I hated my life. This morning I say I love it.

 

Emotions are wild bandits. They have no boarders. They go where they want, when they want and at times, there is no stopping them.

 

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter then you saw my little rant/cry of desperation that went out last night.

 

I’ve been on my health journey for a while now. When I was 14, the wild child that I was, I attended many shows in smoke filled bars to see obscure and, now even famous, bands. At these shows you’d often find other “acts” setting up shop to tap into a young, open-minded crowd. It was at one of these shows that my life was really changed forever. PETA (love em or hate em) had a small TV set up with a video reel showcasing the horror that is the meat Industry with a capital “I”.

 

Before you go turning your nose up, realize one thing for me ok? Meat is good. Meat is great! I love cows and I love beef too. I like chickens and their eggs. I adore the smell of bacon and I think pigs are strange, lovely little fellows. But ——-What I don’t love is the meat I-ndustry. Just because I’m a health coach doesn’t mean that I’m a tree-huggin’, tofu-eatin’ hippie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that and I have been known to hug a tree here and there.

 

Now, back to the PETA video. As a 14 year old, I had never heard of PETA before. I had never once been challenged to think where any of my food came from. Not ever. Not even a little bit. This was monumental. It was like that scene in the Wizard of Oz when the great and powerful Oz is discovered behind the curtain. The veil was lifted and I now knew what I didn’t know before. And when I learned what I didn’t know, I learned that there was a lot I didn’t know.

 

Ya dig?

 

The PETA people gave me a memento. A small, rectangular refrigerator magnet that had a tiny little cartoon chick on it. I brought it home and placed it on the fridge in our kitchen. I think the moment my mom saw it, was the first time she had ever questioned where her food came from too.

 

Fast forward to last night. Left and right, I found my core set of principles being tested at every turn. And it wasn’t just in regards to food. One of my personal motto’s is, “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.”

 

Meaning, if you have no problem not flossing for a month then you have no problem ignoring your finances for a month. The same attention you pay to your clothing and hair is the same attention you pay to your cleaning and workout habits. That’s why it’s called a life style. It’s your style, unique to you. Your core set of beliefs become the basis for which all of your decision making flows. When your core criteria lack boundaries then you may often find yourself in situations that leave you disappointed, pissed off and wanting more. Even worse your lack of boundaries can lead to illness, strife, depression, abuse and suffering.

 

The more in tune you become to what you really want and who you really are the less suffering you actually endure. Out of your new nature, better choices flow. Boundaries are set, relationships heal, weight melts off, the skin clears up, the thinking becomes more sharp, the money is no longer scarce.

 

Getting to this place requires that you remain true to yourself. You have to love yourself enough to remember who you are when you’re challenged; to be in trying situations and still make the right choice.

 

When you’re feeling that your principles are being stepped on, make the call to be more aware, not less; to be more engaged not less. Not to go with the flow and tune out, but to swim up stream and tune in.

 

So at breakfast this morning, over a nice bowl of healthy cereal with warm coffee and the sun shining in through the windows, Mom and I developed our own mantra. A mantra to speak out when we sense we’re not being true to ourselves. The mantra goes likes this:

Pumpkin for Weight loss?

According to NaturalNews, one cup of pumpkin contains seven grams of dietary fiber, providing the body with an excellent means to aid digestion, improve bowel function, relieve both constipation and diarrhea, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and help with weight loss.

One cup of pumpkin contains 50 calories and one gram of fat. So combined with it’s high fiber content, it’s the perfect food to include in any weight loss program.

Click here to watch Moira Kaye and I make Curried Pumpkin Soup

WEIGHT LOSS PUMPKIN CURRY SOUP

Prep notes: 

-To really cut down on time, cut all your veggies ahead of time and store in the fridge.

 

Prep time: 

10  minutes

 

Yields:
6 – 8 people

 

Ingredients: 

1 large organic white onion

3 cloves of garlic

3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 cans of organic pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie mix)

half a can of organic coconut milk

1 box or 32 fl. oz. of organic vegetable broth

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cinnamon

3 tsp cumin

1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt

 

Directions: 

1. Chop onions, garlic and ginger.

2. In a large pot bring coconut oil to medium high heat add the veggies and saute until brown.

3. Add both cans of pumpkin, vegetable broth, spices and coconut, stir and bring to a boil.

4. Once at a rolling boil bring to low and let simmer for 5 min.

5. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of coconut oil and fresh parsley for garnish.

Pain in the neck

I’m not perfect. Not by a long shot. I, like you, am a great work in progress. In the past couple of months I’ve had some conversations with friends and clients about my lifestyle. Some of these conversations circle around their assumption that I live a fantasy life where I eat healthy everyday, get all the rest I could ever want, meditate and workout out daily. 

None of those things are true for me. Like I said, I’m a work in progress. I have days where I’m really motivated to exercise and days when it’s just not happening. The stress and business of life takes over.

 Our bodies are amazing though because they’re our vehicle in this life. They are the thing that the great work of art lives in. Our bodies get us where we want to go.

 What I discovered last week is that when you don’t take good care of your body, like doing the things I mentioned above, it will beg for attention. It will beg you in the form of pain, injury, craving or fatigue. Like a child throwing a tantrum it will seize up and demand you pay attention. In my case it was extreme pain in my shoulders and back. This pain was so bad that I could barely move and had to stay home and rest.

Fortunately, I had been given a gift certificate weeks earlier to receive a massage from Nickie at Meadowsweet Wellness in downtown Knoxville. As Nikki worked her magic on my tense and knotted shoulders, it occurred to me that taking care of myself is not a luxury. The sad truth is, even I who prize health above all, have put my physical wellness on the back burner.

Massage at Meadowsweet

I’m sure in some form or fashion you’re guilty of this too. Maybe for you taking care of your body means having to be more organized so you have time to devote to yourself. Perhaps you’ve been taken advantage of or abused so it’s too scary to put yourself in that vulnerable position. Even still, this little ‘ol body is our one and only vehicle. Your body is the only one you’ve got. Take care of your body and I promise you won’t regret it.

Here is a list of free and easy ways to take care of your body:

-Take long, hot shower or bath

-Give yourself a foot massage

-Dry brush your body

-Give yourself a hot towel massage

-Go to bed an extra 30 min early

-Facial steam bath

-Drink more water

I’m sure you’ve got time for at least one of those things. What else would you do? I’d love to know what ways you take the time to take care of your body. And please, if you live in Knoxville, head over to Meadowsweet and get a fabulous massage from Elodie or Nickie. They are wonderful and their space on Gay St. is just lovely.

Detox Slaw

I was so lucky to make it to the Fox – 43 set today. I almost didn’t make it. If you were out on the roads this morning then you know that the fog was unbelievable. Bumper to bumper traffic, remembering what I wanted to say, and double checking that I had everything I needed (I always forget one thing!) was about to send me over the edge. The thought of being late for a live TV segment seemed really dire to me in the moment.

Then I realized there was no point in freaking out. What could I do? What could I control? The weather? No. The traffic? Nope. The time? Never. All I could control was my reaction and how I dealt with the situation. I took away 3 valuable lessons from this morning.

1. Have serenity. God is in control. There’s nothing you can do to change things that are beyond your control.

2. Accept the situation for what it is. Don’t bury your head in the sand or blame others around you.

3. Never give up. Do your best no matter what. Your name is on the work even if no one else sees what‘s going on behind the scenes. (That goes for everything in life.)

In any case, this my go-to recipe for emergency cleansing. The next 3 months can be a scary time of year for anyone who wants to avoid putting on the average 10 holiday season pounds. Family stressors and pressures plus crappy or deliciously indulgent food for the holidays can foil the plans of the most determined health nut.

Let‘s face it. We can’t avoid these things 100% of the time. But! When you make a not-so-good choice or when you‘re feeling overwhelmed like I was this morning, just make this super simple and energizing detox salad and you’ll be more inclined to keep making healthier choices along the way.

Detox-Slaw

Prep notes: 

-To really cut down on time, cut all your veggies ahead of time and store in the fridge.

Prep time: 

10  minutes

Yields: 

6 – 8 people

Ingredients: 

1 head organic cabbage white or red

1 large organic purple onion

1 large organic carrot

2  – 3 large lemons

1 cup packed of fresh cilantro

1/4 cup organic extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

sea salt to taste

Directions: 

1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and slice each quarter into very fine slivers until the whole cabbage is shredded. Rinse and strain. Place in an extra large mixing bowl.

2. Slice the onion into super fine slivers and add to the bowl.

3. Using a potato peeler, remove the skin from the carrots. You can “chop” the carrot using the peeler to speed up the process and get thin carrot shavings.

4. Chop the cilantro into small pieces and add to the bowl.

5. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and mix.

6. Taste test and add more seasons if desired. You can also add slivered almonds, sesame seeds, mint, parsley or a hefty dollop of tahini to the mix. 

I love to use this slaw in sandwiches or in Ezekiel sprouted tortilla wraps. I drizzle on some tahini to make a great lunch or savory snack.

Chickpea “Potato” Salad

Chickpea “Potato” Salad

Prep notes:

-You can use a food processor if you have one. If not, mix all ingredients in a large bowl using a potato masher or large fork.

Cooking time: 

10  minutes

Yields: 

4 – 8 people

Ingredients: 

1 lb can Eden Organic Garbanzo beans

1 – 2 cups Vegenaise

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup of finely minced onion

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tbsp dill

1 tbsp salt

fresh black pepper to taste

juice from one lemon

Directions:  

1. Rinse garbanzo beans through several passes of water, drain and place in large mixing bowl.

2. Finely chop parsley and onions and set aside.

3. Mash garbanzo beans until roughly broken down.

4. Add Veganaise, lemon juice, chili powder, dill, salt and pepper and mix together.

5. Add parsley and onions and mix again.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Great substitute for Potato salad or great as a dish all its own. Pack some for lunch or use as a side at dinner.  Have it with pita bread as a snack, with avocados on sprouted tortilla, or make a sandwich!